Gus G Interview by METAL FACTORY
First of all congratulations Gus! Your new album is terrific! To me "Between Heaven and Hell" is already one of the best Power Metal albums in 2002. It became "CD of the month" on www.metalfactory.ch...
Gus G: This is great! Thanx a lot and glad to hear you like our album so much!!
Stephen reminds me of the brilliant Graham Bonnet and sometimes of Messiah Marcolin, but with a great deal of own ideas. How did you find such an extraordinary shouter?
Gus G: That was through David Chastain. I was sending him my demos, but it was obvious that I couldn't find a great vocalist. David then told me that Stephen heard my demos and was interested in joining the band. I accepted right away with no second thoughts, as I always thought that Stephen was one of the best in the world!!
How did you get David T. Chastain as a producer?
Gus G: I had been sending my demos to David since late 1998.David always encouraged me to keep sending him material and keep working on my style. At some point in 2000, he told me that he wanted to help me to find great musicians to line up FIREWIND and to produce my music.
I think Fredrik Nordstrom did a great job mixing on "Between Heaven and Hell"
Gus G: Yes, and I knew from the beginning that Fredrik was the one to mix this album. Me and Fredrik are good friends and also bandmates in Dream Evil, and I know his talents as an engineer and producer. So, when all recordings were completed, we sent the tapes to Fredrik and as expected, he gave us a great mix.
It stands out that your sound has it's roots in the 80s.The Scorpions' cover "pictured life" underlines this fact.
Gus G: Well, even I'm only 21 years old, I listen to old Scorpions, UFO and stuff like that. Actually, Pictured Life is from the 70's era of the Scorpions. I think they were much heavier back then.
Who or what made you discover Metal?
Gus G: The first time I was exposed to heavy metal was when I was 10 and Alice Cooper had released the "Trash" album. He was gonna come and play in Greece and I saw some of his videos on TV. I thought it was really cool! When I was 12, I got some tapes of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple and when I was 14, a friend gave me some Black Sabbath tapes. I got into Sabbath right away!! I bought all of their albums that I could find and I started checking out more bands. When I was 15, I heard Yngwie Malmsteen's playing. Yngwie totally inspired me to go in and practice guitar 10 hours a day for a few years!!!
On "Tomorrow can wait" and "I will fight alone" you can hear some Scorpions influences. While listening to the CD I got as well the feeling that you are a Michael Schenker fan. Is that true?
Gus G: It's very very true haha!! I am a big Schenker fan. His guitar sound is unique. Many have tried to copy it, but only he can sound like that! Michael Schenker along with Yngwie and Uli Jon Roth have been major influences and inspiration.
You and Konstantine are both Greek. Do you still have contact to your home country?
Gus G: Of course. I live half year in Sweden and half year in Greece.
Where in Greece are you from?
Gus G: I'm from Thessaloniki, which is located in the Northern part of Greece and it's the second biggest city after Athens.
Who is responsible for the great cover artwork?
Gus G: A great artist from Sweden called, Kristian Wahlin also known as Necrolord. That cover is a great piece of art.
Will Firewind soon play in Switzerland?
Gus G: Not that I know of, but I really hope it will happen soon. We are currently trying to get on a European tour, but nothing confirmed so far.
How does it work that you live in Sweden and the rest of the band lives in the USA?
Gus G: I compose, arrange and record all the music in my home studio. I then send it to Leviathan Records and they take over from there. They arrange the recording sessions and in which studios, and David Chastain is supervising and producing the whole thing.
As a final question I'd like to know for how long you play the guitar already and if you had guitar education?
Gus G: I've been playing guitar since 1990. I have taken music lessons in a conservatory in Greece for 4 years. When I was 17, I went to Berklee College in Boston on a scholarship. However, I dropped out after 2 weeks of studies to start my music career.
Thank you for the interview and I hope to see you live soon! "Crazy" Beat Meyer
Gus G: Thanx a lot for your support and we too hope to come and play in Switzerland as soon as possible and meet all our fans there!!! Stay METAL and spread the word!!!